Here’s a guide to help you choose the right combi oven

By Rocky Rockwell, corporate executive chef, Alto-Shaam, Inc.

Sponsored by Alto-Shaam

At the core of every foodservice operation is its kitchen. After all, the kitchen is the foodservice operation’s heartbeat, and equipment with proven performance and reliability is crucial to providing customers with the highest quality food and service. 

Whether it’s streamlining your menu, offering curbside pickup or expanding takeout and delivery, combination ovens can provide greater multi-functionality and flexibility in the kitchen. Here are top six factors to consider when choosing a commercial combi oven. 

1. Ease of Use

First, take a close look at the oven’s design. Does it use push-button or touchscreen controls, and how intuitive are they? Does the pan layout make sense? There are a number of design factors to consider to ensure the combi oven works well for your specific needs. 

Being able to fully program recipes is also important, and can, simplify the cooking process for employees with intuitive navigation and customizable recipe management. Programmable recipes take the guesswork out of cooking, ensuring that your menu is executed flawlessly every time. 

2. Dependability

The performance and reliability of a combi oven is also crucial to keeping your kitchen up and running. Engineered for dependability, Combitherm ovens are designed to be an indispensable centerpiece in the kitchen, so you can count on them to execute your menu and perform flawlessly in every situation. With advanced features and accessories inside and out, combi ovens are built tough to keep up with demand in the kitchen. Engineered with exceptional durability, Alto-Shaam combi ovens are also backed with industry leading service and support.

Eleven Madison Park_Combi 7

3. Space and Ventilation

When choosing a combi oven, layout and space requirements are important to keep in mind. Some combi ovens require a certain amount of clearance between the oven and other pieces of equipment, which can take up valuable space underneath the ventilation hood. 

Reducing ventilation costs, Alto-Shaam combi ovens feature a zero-clearance design, so you can place your oven next to any piece of equipment – anywhere on the line. The need for expensive traditional ventilation can also be eliminated entirely with optional Ventech™ condensation hoods. Operators are able to place combi ovens with Ventech anywhere in the kitchen—maximizing floor space while improving efficiency and workflow.

4. Operating Costs 

Next, consider the energy efficiency and overall water consumption. Many of the latest combi ovens employ eco-friendly technology to lower electricity and water usage. Alto-Shaam’s EcoSmart designs consume 80% less water and 40% less electricity, while also increasing production power. The key to these savings is Alto-Shaam’s innovative, boilerless design paired with PROpower technology. Boilerless, flash-steam generation provides greater control over recovery, cooking times and food quality. 

5. Capacity

Menu and food volume needs are key to determining the size of combi required. Alto-Shaam offers a range of models, from compact to large-scale roll-in units. For operators requiring high-volume food production, Alto-Shaam also provides complete cook-chill systems, including compatible combi ovens, QuickChiller™ blast chillers and holding cabinets with gentle, radiant Halo Heat® technology. 

6. Self-Cleaning Functionality

As you test out the various combi features, find out how the oven cleans itself, and see whether you need to remove shelves to activate the cleaning function. In addition, you should find out what kind of cleaning solution is required. Combitherm ovens use a self-cleaning design called CombiClean Plus, which has five automatic cycles and utilizes compact cleaning tablets or liquid cleanser for the most efficient and thorough labor-free cleaning.

To learn more about the Combitherm oven and how Alto-Shaam can help meet the needs of your kitchen, visit